Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam was once again asked about the team’s troubled quarterback position, and it gave him a chance to get into some familiar names. Most notably for San Francisco 49ers fans (well, this one, at least), Haslam said that if head coach Hue Jackson wanted to sign Colin Kaepernick, he would not block the move. Haslam said Kaepernick’s protest would have no impact on his signing off on the move.
“Absolutely not,” Haslam said. “If football people came and recommended [him], we’d go with the football people.”
Earlier in the day, Hue Jackson told NFL Network that he would never say never on Kaepernick, but there had been no discussion about potentially signing Jackson was reportedly high on Kaepernick back in 2011 before the 49ers moved up to draft him in the second round. Last year, the Browns were reportedly interested in acquiring him, but Matt Barrows reported earlier today that Kaepernick was not interested in part because he thought Cleveland made some free agency moves that weakened the team.
This offseason, the Browns acquired Brock Osweiler earlier this month. They have said some of the right things about him being on their roster, but he has not exactly gotten a vote of confidence. For now, the Browns depth chart includes Osweiler, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan.
The Browns hold the No. 1 and No. 12 picks in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, as well as the first pick of the second round. They have been regularly connected to Jimmy Garoppolo, but we have also heard they have interest in Ohio-native Mitchell Trubisky.
They could roll the dice on Trubisky slipping to them at No. 12, but there are just enough question marks ahead of them that it would be a gamble. The 49ers, Bears, Jets, and Chargers all might consider the quarterback position. It would not surprise me if the Bears and Chargers did not pick one in the first round, and the Jets just spent a second round pick on Christian Hackenberg. As for the 49ers? They need a QB, but it remains to be seen how sold they are on any of this class as an option at No. 2.
For the time being, the Browns are a bit of a wild card. A Jimmy Garoppolo trade seems unlikely, but with a month remaining until the 2017 NFL Draft, there is a lot of time for trade discussion. The Browns have the most draft capital right now, with two first and second round picks apiece this year, and then a first and three second round picks next year. If they really want to make something happen, they have the picks to do it.
Then again, do they go with another stop-gap measure in Colin Kaepernick like they tried to do with Robert Griffin III last year? The Browns have a host of options at their disposal over the next month.